Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Bloody Elbow presents their UFC 158 fight card primer, previewing all the action at UFC 158: St. Pierre vs. Diaz. Here, we look at the PPV opener: Mike Ricci vs. Colin Fletcher.
The UFC 158: St. Pierre vs. Diaz PPV broadcast opens with action in the Lightweight division. Canada's Mike Ricci (7-3 MMA; 0-1 UFC) takes on Colin Fletcher (8-2 MMA; 0-1 UFC). The UFC 158 PPV airs this Saturday night, March 16, with the main card beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.
Ricci vs. Fletcher is an odd PPV battle between two 0-1 UFC fighters. And, interestingly, both came to those records the same way - with losses in TUF finals. For Ricci, that loss came against Colton Smith on the Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson season. Fletcher lost to Norman Parke on the Smashes season. Both men showed interesting personalities on the show, which explains their position on the PPV somewhat. This is definitely a must win situation for each.
How do these two stack up?
Ricci: 26 years old | 6'0" | 76" reach
Fletcher: 30 years old | 6'2" | 78" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Mike Ricci is a trainee at the superb Tristar gym. He made his MMA debut in 2008 and went 5-0 in the regional scene including a win over Jordan Mein. But he's just 2-3 since, with the losses to Smith, Cruickshank, and one to Pat Curran in Bellator. He was on the awful Carwin/Nelson TUF season, where he emerged as an early favorite. He looked good on the show, but was outwrestled by Smith in the finals. He's back down at Lightweight here, which is a much better fit for him.
Colin "Freakshow" Fletcher is a colorful fighter who did well making it to the finals of The Smashes. He was 8-1 before the show, with a pair of wins in BAMMA, but in his official UFC debut, he was outworked by Norman Parke en route to a decision loss. Like Ricci, he needs a win to prevent his career from going 0-2 in the UFC and potentially getting cut.
Why should you care?
Both of these guys are capable of exciting fights, and with their jobs on the line, I expect to see more fire. Though a lot of fans don't know these two, I actually expect this will be a decent fight.